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Making a Murderer - The Poll (Spoilers - watch the doc first!)

What do you think?  

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I also think that Kratz (the ulitmate cunt that he is) abusing his position of power to sexually harass victims of domestic violence further adds to the fact that anything he says holds no credence whatsoever.

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Kratz' claims seen in his email were mentioned in the interview with the two creators posted on the last page. They acknowledged that not everything had been included in the documentary due to time etc. They didn't dispute what he said, however.

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I'm not answering leading questions like that, you won't get me that easily, officer.

I think Avery was probably guilty, and have no idea of Brendan's role, I think I'd have to read Brendan's interview transcripts.

Both convictions obviously unsafe, evidence clearly planted, confessions worthless.

On the basis of my current knowledge, I don't think I'd call the documentary biased. Like any edited film it made choices, but I don't yet see any ethical violations or departure from normal film-making practice. I don't really subscribe to the Today programme faux-evenhandedness of making every issue a two-hander with both given equal time. Of course it's only a partial view, even after 10 hours. I guess one of the main things missing for me is that Steven is such a blank slate in the film, I wonder if there's any footage that was excluded that would make you think, yeah, he could be who the prosecution said he was.

This film didn't help my long running fear that one day I'll be sent to an American prison for a crime I didn't commit. I hope I have the cash for an actual lawyer.

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The car is bait as fuck.

Why would you kill her in your trailer, then put her in the back of her own car (while wearing gloves, as there were NO fingerprints of Steve Avery, then take them off and leave some very very odd blood stains, allegedly from a cut on your finger) and what, drive her around for a bit? Then you burn her next to your house and then after that move two little bits of bone to the quarry pit and put a few other tiny bits in the barrel?

Then remember the search party (which was allowed on to a chief suspect's property, including members of the missing at the time person's family) and how the roommate Villegas explicitly said to everyone before going out don't touch anything! then re-iterated it when Pam (iirc) called in. I know they wouldn't want to incriminate themselves but that is well suspect.

Speaking of Villegas, last time he saw Theresa was on the Sunday and he had no recollection at all, of even the vague time of day, whether it was morning noon or night. That's weird.

Manitowoc clearly wanted to stitch up the Avery's somehow as the only thing that the doc didn't address, is anything to do with the rest of the supposedly massive Avery clan, I'm sure there must be some right bad eggs, or they are the Wisconsin drug family/ general ne'er do wells that the cops can't pin anything on up until this point. That's why they were all so convinced he did it because everyone 'knew the family'.

On another note, I'm half expecting Manitowoc to announce some sort of Shi Ti Pa Town in place of Avery Auto Salvage or something.

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For those who think Steven is guilty, how do you think the murder went down? I've been trying to think of a scenario where he could possibly have done it, and the best I've come up with is:

  • TH was clearly never in his apartment or garage (no DNA), but he makes some kind of advance or threat to her outside and when she rejects him he shoots her outside/before she leaves the yard or keeps her captive in another building.
  • He bundles her body into her car/someplace and hides it.
  • He then goes about his day as normal - takes two calls from Jodi, fire with Brendan.
  • Presumably later that night or the next day he takes the car to the primary burn site (by the quarry) and burns the body and possessions, then cleans and moves the car to a different location and hides it rather than crushing it (apparently the primary burn site and the where the car were found are quite a distance apart).

The police then plant the bullet, the blood, the key and the bones.

I don't think that this adds up. There certainly isn't any evidence for this (apart from the planting of evidence) from what was in the doc, from Kratz's email or from other sources that I've read.

Poor Brendan though, that was just heartbreaking. I am 100% convinced about his innocence.

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Can we have a poll about which bit made you most want to put your fist through the screen? I nominate Michael O'Kelly's crocodile tears over the blue ribbon.

In response to this, surely the bit where we are told that Brendan telling his mum "they put it into my head" following his interrogation was removed by the prosecution and agreed to by Brendan's defence is pretty high up the list. I was shaking my head. It's like they wanted to go home a bit earlier or something.

No way Brendan would be in prison if he had Avery's legal team.

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For those who think Steven is guilty, how do you think the murder went down?

Well from Dassey's confessions, Avery probably did have her tied up in the bedroom. No DNA found there I expect because Avery removed/burnt the sheets. Dassey also mentions that all the furniture was moved around immediately after the crime, so I would expect that's his clean up, which shouldn't be too difficult if no blood was spilt there.
Again, from confessions, Dassey and Avery then carry her out to the garage where she is stabbed multiple times by Avery, and (at Avery's request) once by Dassey. She's then shot multiple times by Avery whilst Dassey looks away (one bullet with Teresa's DNA later found in the garage). They then both carry her to the burn pit. Avery checks she has no pulse. They toss three tires and an old dresser onto the fire and burn her. They use a rake to try and ensure no parts are left.
Avery rifles through Teresa's items, gives Dassey money from her purse. The garage and many items are then washed down with bleach.
All the above is from Dassey's interviews, though I haven't finished watching them all yet, so the following is speculative..
At some point he takes the car and tries to hide it by removing the plates and covering it up. Dassey mentions Avery was thinking of ditching it in a river, but the river was running dry. I can only imagine his car crusher doesn't work or would bring too much attention. We have no idea how commonly used that crusher was.
I would guess Avery then puts Teresa's other personal items then go into the burn barrel, along with a few body parts that didn't completely burn down in the fire. He ditches the embers of this barrel in the quarry at some point.

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The reason I suspect Avery, is that it would be very difficult for the murderer to know Avery and Tersea's movements.

How would they know that Avery wouldn't have an air tight albi for that evening?

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During Avery's previous conviction, his family were with him at the time of the rape.

Seems as though having an air-tight alibi would be all but impossible for him and the murderer would know that.

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The reason I suspect Avery, is that it would be very difficult for the murderer to know Avery and Tersea's movements.

How would they know that Avery wouldn't have an air tight albi for that evening?

He had more than a dozen people giving him an alibi in 1985, and that didn't matter.

I seem to remember someone saying that he used the car crusher the day before the alleged murder. May have got that wrong though.

Edit: too slow [emoji4]

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Alibi's in the 80s are different to modern times though - phone records, credit cars, cctv cameras, heck even twitter or Facebook.

I thought an other family member could be a suspect.

I thought Branden's brother was a bit off. But that's based off so little other than he didn't really give a shit about his brother and he liked hunting.

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He had 22 witnesses to the original rape, a receipt from the gas station at 5 ish when they went to Green Bay and Bernsteen distinctly remembers her assailant wearing white underpants and HE DOESN'T OWN ANY.

Not to mention the DNA evidence pointing to the other bloke.

All involved in '85 clearly wanted to stitch him up because he ran the wife of the sheriff off the road and then pointed a gun at her because she was saying stuff about him (true or not we don't know, seems unlikely he'd be naked in the front yard in that amount of snow) and they needed some shit on him/ the family.

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Most of what ails our criminal justice system lie in unwarranted certitude on the part of police officers and prosecutors and defense lawyers and judges and jurors that they are getting it right. That they are simply right. Just a tragic lack of humility in everyone who participates in our criminal justice system.

I agree with this, from my limited experience. I think human beings must just be terrible at dealing with uncertainty, and our brains need us to quickly make working assumptions from incomplete data and our ego needs us to be good and right.

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That bit was embarrassing to watch, made even more so by his explanation of why he was upset, twice! Just to make extra sure people felt sorry for him.

I can't remember why he said he was upset - what'd he say?

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Exactly! The garage wasn't clean enough to have been cleaned up, which means the cops should have been able to find some blood, dna or something other than a single bullet 4 months later (was it months or weeks?)

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I can't remember why he said he was upset - what'd he say?

He said seeing the blue ribbon that had been used at a church as a memorial for Teresa made him upset. But when he interrogated Brendan he used the same ribbon as a tool of emotional blackmail to pry a confession from him.

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For those who think Steven is guilty, how do you think the murder went down?

I don't know how these things work, so I could be completely wrong, but wouldn't it make more sense for them, both the prosecution and the defence, to have a time-line of how they believe things happened? Cross-referencing it with the witnesses, phone calls, alibis, etc. to build up a picture of how it all unfolded.

Maybe it was left out of the show, but it all seemed to come down to 'well, we found this bit of evidence here and this bit here', but without any corroboration in any other form.

It still doesn't sit right with me, because the picture we've been painted is so sketchy.

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Any update on the key issue of why Avery doesn't own any underwear? That's the most intriguing thing for me.

On the lesser issue of murder, if I have to come up with a scenario for his innocence, I'd put money on the double frame. One of the Avery clan (Brendan's brother or step father seem likely) assaulted the victim, probably raped her and murdered her. They burned the body elsewhere and realised they could frame Avery for it, so dumped bones in his fire pit. They probably parked the car somewhere off site. All the other stuff - the key, moving the car back to the yard, bullet, blood - was a stitch up from police once they realised the evidence against Avery was lacking.

I think it's highly likely that Brendan is innocent. He might even have cooperated with police because he's covering up something about another relative.

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He admitted to two police officers he raped and murdered someone and then checked with his mum if he could watch wrestlemania. He is not capable of that which you ascribe him.

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I think Brendan was one of those kids that bullies took advantage of. Easily dominated and just did what people told him to do. Unfortunately he had a bully for an Uncle. It's obvious from his testimonies that he didn't take any pleasure from what he was forced into, but there he was.

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Well from Dassey's confessions, Avery probably did have her tied up in the bedroom. No DNA found there I expect because Avery removed/burnt the sheets. Dassey also mentions that all the furniture was moved around immediately after the crime, so I would expect that's his clean up, which shouldn't be too difficult if no blood was spilt there.
Again, from confessions, Dassey and Avery then carry her out to the garage where she is stabbed multiple times by Avery, and (at Avery's request) once by Dassey. She's then shot multiple times by Avery whilst Dassey looks away (one bullet with Teresa's DNA later found in the garage). They then both carry her to the burn pit. Avery checks she has no pulse. They toss three tires and an old dresser onto the fire and burn her. They use a rake to try and ensure no parts are left.
Avery rifles through Teresa's items, gives Dassey money from her purse. The garage and many items are then washed down with bleach.
All the above is from Dassey's interviews, though I haven't finished watching them all yet, so the following is speculative..
At some point he takes the car and tries to hide it by removing the plates and covering it up. Dassey mentions Avery was thinking of ditching it in a river, but the river was running dry. I can only imagine his car crusher doesn't work or would bring too much attention. We have no idea how commonly used that crusher was.
I would guess Avery then puts Teresa's other personal items then go into the burn barrel, along with a few body parts that didn't completely burn down in the fire. He ditches the embers of this barrel in the quarry at some point.

From Dassey's confessions we "know" that she had her throat cut while tied to the bed, but didn't die. She had to be taken out of the bedroom and then shot elsewhere (the garage, I believe). It is utterly inconceivable that, to be impolite, she could have been bleeding like a stuffed pig while transferred from the bed, through the house and to the garage without a spot of DNA being left behind. "He cleaned it" is the most childish explanation in my opinion, anything that joins dots all over the place whether it makes sense or not.

And again, the idea that he could clean the entire garage of all traces of DNA (blood spatter would get all over those tools that were in there) and yet miss that one bullet. We saw the photos of the bullet and where it was found in the garage. I don't think it was that hard to spot, especially not if you were going over the garage with a fine tooth comb (as Avery would have to done to clear every trace of DNA in there, and the police should have done when searching it however many times over the course of 8 days). Yet it's not discovered until Det James "Honest" Lenk finds it 4 months later.

The reason I suspect Avery, is that it would be very difficult for the murderer to know Avery and Tersea's movements.

How would they know that Avery wouldn't have an air tight albi for that evening?

As others have said, a very good alibi didn't help Avery for the crime we know he was innocent of.

I also think it's a mistake to believe that the murderer was trying to frame Avery. It gives a false sense of a sort of extra double impossibility - "he can't possibly have been set up by the murderer and the police and neither have conspired together, and the idea of the police conspiring with a murderer is ridiculous!" My view is that Avery was just plain unlucky to have been the last person to see Theresa. I don't think it was planned that way by the murderer, but was just shitty bad luck as far as Avery is concerned and a golden opportunity for the police (who I don't think plotted her murder either).

All that said, two suspects are Scott Tadych and Bobby Dassey, and both saw her at Avery's house. They would certainly have had an opportunity to dump the evidence back at Avery's knowing she'd just been there, without them having had to somehow orchestrate anything or wait in advance.

Who says she had to have been killed in the garage? Couldn't he have dragged her off to the woods?

While a possibility, he was convicted for killing her in his garage (and Brendon for killing her in the bedroom). It's ok for us to speculate on what really happened, but I do think a distinction has to be drawn between whether Avery is the real murderer and whether the prosecution proved its case. Its case was that Avery and Dassey cut her throat in the bedroom and then shot her in the garage, and I don't think there's enough evidence to support that. Whatever other plausible scenario we come up with for Avery being the murderer still leaves me deeply concerned, because even if they got the right guy, they got him in the wrong way in my view and that is a credit to no one. It shows an incredibly flawed system that is far more likely to convict innocent people than it is stumble upon a successful prosecution of a genuinely guilty defendant.

I asked before and said it should have been included in the poll - whether you think Avery is guilty or not, do you believe he should have been convicted? It's one of the wider points of the documentary.

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The thing I don't understand about the case against Avery, is why did he do such an incredible job of the clean up of blood and DNA in the trailer and garage, yet leave bones in the firepit and the key in his room? That doesn't make sense and the prosecution did not present a convincing theory of the crime.

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The fact that Brendon was convicted of all three counts in which there is no proof she was either killed in the bedroom or the garage is crazy. Both of the trials didn't present a concrete scenario of where she died.

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